What Kind of Memories are We Creating?
Posted Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
Memory is something that has always fascinated me. I believe it is one of life’s most important and enjoyable gifts.
In an instant, often without provocation, we can find ourselves remembering little bits and pieces of our lives.
People, places, situations, songs, smells, feelings – whatever – all are tucked away in obscure nooks and crannies of our minds that haven’t been explored for years, but they suddenly jump back to the forefront and cause us to pause for a moment and reflect on the role they played in our life’s journey.
They’re all little pieces in the ever-expanding puzzle of who we are.
I had an interesting conversation the other day that got me thinking about the power of memories, but I’ll need to give you a little family history in order for it to make sense.
I became an uncle when I was five years old, and I have eleven nieces and nephews, most of whom are in their 50s and 60s with adult children of their own. I don’t know many of them very well and haven’t seen a few of them for decades.
Over the weekend I had a visit from a nephew whose path and mine hadn’t crossed for a very long time and with whom I had not had a lengthy conversation about much of anything for even longer.
It became clear during our discussion that he still has vivid memories of his early interactions with me when we both were kids, and he surprised me by saying that I was the closest he had ever come to having a big brother.
I’ve written before about how we all have our own unique stories to tell, and how important it is that we have opportunities to tell them. Each of our memories, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is tied to something that helped make us who we are today.
Realizing that my interactions as a child more than 50 years ago, with someone even younger than I, are still part of his memory bank was an important reminder of the impact our thoughts and words and actions can have on others.
Fortunately his memories were positive and joyous. But what if I had said or done something that had affected him negatively? What kind of memories might he be carrying around, and what stories might he be telling?
We all are individualized expressions of the same Source energy, and everything we do or say (or think!) can, in some way that our human minds can’t totally understand, connect with that same energy in others.
One of my favorite sections in Lessons from the Source is the one on “The Ripple Effect” in Chapter Six, and I’d like to share a passage from it with you, because it seems to me to make this point beautifully.
“You seldom can understand (nor can anyone on the earth plane) the importance that your interactions with others carry in their lives. We have discussed the unity of all life on earth. If you can accept the truth that the essence of me lies within all things—and especially all people—then it becomes somewhat easier to comprehend the impact that you can have on the lives of others.
Perhaps it is easier to begin to think of this from your own perspective. We have talked before about how you react to someone who is a beacon of joy and enthusiasm and how your own spirits are lifted by that interaction, because your spirit is one with the spirit of the person who has touched your life. Think now, also, of the impact that a person who is totally caught up in negativity can have on you. Or a person who is laughing uncontrollably. Or someone who is sharing genuine grief with you. Or someone who offers advice or consolation. Or someone who simply asks how you are doing and whose asking demonstrates a genuine caring and concern. Even the person who ‘snubs’ you and refuses to speak touches a place in your heart.
Try to think of my spirit as a great, never-ending sea of gelatinous material. It is not visible to human eyes, but it is present in everything and around everything. Think of what happens when you touch the surface of a bowl of Jell-O®: the impact causes vibrations throughout all of the material in the bowl. There is no portion of it that is not affected.”
Every day in our interactions with others, we’re making memories, for ourselves and for them, that become part of the story of our individual journeys. That’s a responsibility we can’t afford to take lightly, and it seems important to pause once in a while to remember our common humanity and to take stock of the memories we’re creating.